Saved From Distractions ~


“But when he (Peter) saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” (Matthew 14:30).

Picture the scene. A raging storm, giant waves crashing against a first-century fishing boat, and the disciples on the Sea of Galilee. Imagine their terror-filled eyes as water poured over the sides, negating their efforts to bail. And then … God shows up ….

Appearing at the least likely moment, Jesus walked toward them on the churning sea with a calm assurance. “It is I. Do not be afraid” (v. 27). Twelve jaws must have dropped as the disciples, who had been totally focused on survival, were riveted by this supernatural sight ….

Hearing Jesus’ voice, Peter didn’t hold back: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (v. 28). So over the edge Peter climbed and incredibly, miraculously, began to walk on top of the rolling waves. Until … he sank ….

The passage tells us why: “When he saw the wind, he was afraid.” Peter got distracted. In crisis his priority had rightly shifted from the raging storm to Jesus, but it didn’t stay there. Almost immediately Peter’s focus returned to his circumstances; and the consequences came in an instant …

I had an incident occur in my day yesterday in church in which I became distracted. And the devil used that occurrence to blur my thoughts and lose my focus, distracting me from receiving the Word and His message ….

It kept me locked up most of the afternoon, even turning my attitude sour and bitter. However, praise God, I am fairly tuned now to hear my Master’s voice quickly, and I was finally able to “cast down all of those vain imaginations and bring my thoughts captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5-6), and through prayer and repentance regain my priority for what my focus needed to be on. If I had continued along in those thoughts, I would have not only ruined my whole day, but missed the opportunity to spend precious time with my Lord …

Like Peter, the moment we take our eyes off of the Lord — we begin to sink. When our attention drifts, we lose our ability to hear His voice. The same wind and waves that jolt us into crying out to God one moment — can distract us from Him in the very” next. This is just one of our enemies tactics he will use to cause us to take our eyes off Jesus and close our ears and thoughts from His Word ….

Let’s look at a few common distractions that may be hindering your ability to focus on Jesus ….

The Comparison Distraction:
Have you been prompted to compare other people or circumstances against God’s provision for your own life? Have you found yourself comparing your spiritual walk with another’s, maybe even thinking how unfair it is that they receive blessings? Is your sense of fairness obscuring your perception of His good desires for you?

The Pride Distraction:
Have you allowed an offense to become an obstacle in the path of restoring a relationship? An obstacle from focusing on the Word? Or perhaps are your strong opinions getting in the way of being open to God’s voice and His plans for your day?

The Bitterness Distraction:
Are you bent on making someone pay for the pain they’ve caused, instead of leaving it in the Lord’s hands? Rather than pursuing peace, are you nurturing a minor matter into a major rift? Are you allowing your thoughts to filter on in your head because you feel justified in having them?

If any of those resonate, you’ve been distracted. If you can’t remember the last time you’ve looked to the Lord to direct your steps — you’ve been distracted. If you are thinking about petty occurances and offenses rather than how you may be used by Jesus — you’ve been distracted. You’re going under. Your eyes have gotten off of Jesus and onto something else. Confess it for the sin it is. Cry out like Peter, “Lord, save me”! And believe that He will, and you shall be restored ….

Today is an opportunity not to sink into distraction, but to focus on the Lord and what He’s teaching you. To trust Him to handle the hard situations …. and the simple ones too. Jesus is in the big and the small.
To release your pain and bitterness … to forgive as He has forgiven you ….

This is what life should be for growing followers of Christ: looking to God for wisdom and responding with obedience, even in the face of what may seem impossible. All the while, keeping our eyes on Jesus.
In closing, I challenge you to take a look at your challenges and ponder: what is distracting you from being focused on the Lord? If there was one change you made to your daily routine or thought life that could help your eyes stay fixed on Jesus, what would it be?

Let us pray ~

Lord God, I confess I’ve allowed myself to be distracted, and I don’t want to be anymore. Please forgive me and help me to trust you. Give me the strength and self control that I need to fix my eyes on You. Help me to keep my eyes and attention on my Saviour and not what is happening around me, so that I can learn what You want me to learn, to become who You want me to be. You deserve and are worthy of my full attention. In Jesus name I pray, Amen


Those Darn Foxes


“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” (Song of Solomon 2:15)

There is one verse in the Gospel of John which tells us of the Lord’s purpose for every one of His children. That verse is (John 15:16), which contains the word of Jesus Himself: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain”: and it would seem most appropriate to set the key-verse of this study against this one great declaration of our Lord ….


We are sure of this because we are told in (John 15:1) that He said of Himself, “I am the true vine.” He said this in connection with the institution of the Lord’s Supper, when the bread and wine were employed by Him as symbols of His sacrifice and offering upon Calvary. He was therefore saying to His disciples, “I am the real, genuine vine” and of course the vine is the source of the fruit. Any fruit which appears on the vine does not derive its life from the branches or from the leaves, but from the vine itself; nor is any fruit that appears on the vine the result of any ‘effort’ on the part of the branches or the leaves! This leads us to the second truth, which is clearly emphasised in this chapter ….

We are also told in John that our Lord said, “My Father is the gardener” that is, He is the One who tends the vine and busies Himself with the branches, as (verses 2-6) indicate. But who are the branches? We have the answer in (v 5), where He says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
The branches, then, are believers, Christians, and incidentally this verse shows us exactly what a Christian is. A Christian is a branch in the vine, one who is joined to Christ, united to Him and deriving life from Him, and he is a participant of His very nature (2 Peter 1:4). A branch is not a dead stick, it is a living thing. This leads us to another truth ….

It is the function of the branch to bear fruit. Thus we read in (v 2) that “Every branch in me that bears not fruit” Jesus will take away, and in (v 4), “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must “abide” or be in Him and through Him, and in this will bear much fruit”. Then following on in (v 16) we read that we are “chosen and ordained, or appointed; but for what? To “go and bear fruit” of course. The Lord is looking for fruit in our lives, and He says, “from me is thy fruit found” (Hosea 14:8). The source of this fruit is the Lord Himself; the manifestation of this fruit is seen in the branches of the vine. What kind of fruit are we, as Christians, to bear? What is the fruit that appears on the branches which are united to the true vine?

The fruit we are to bear is the fruit of the Spirit. This is not fruit of the spirit (little “s”) meaning us; but of the Spirit (big “S”) meaning the Holy Ghost, as found in (Galations 5:22-23).
These verses give us a vivid picture of the Christian life as our Lord intended it should be. We should be loving, joyful, restful, patient, kind, good, trustworthy, humble and disciplined. This is the fruit we should be bearing. These are the graces which should characterise us as Christians. Yet, note the next part: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)


“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

This time the word “spirit” is spelt with a small ‘s’ … Remember, little ‘s’ — about us. In other words, “sins of the flesh” which are the gross sins of adultery, murder, blasphemy, drunkenness etc. The “sins of the spirit” are “the little foxes” that creep in almost unnoticed and spoil the vines and take away the fruit. What are these “little foxes” you ask?


The way I see it is there are three kinds: there are the wrong things we think, the wrong things we say and the wrong things we do. I call them heart sins, lip sins and behaviour sins ….

Thinking of heart sins: secret sins. David had something to say about these in (Psalm 51:10). What are they? They are sins such as jealousy, pride and impurity. These are “the little foxes that spoil the vineyards”, the sins of the spirit that hinder the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. God can see these ‘secret’ sins. (Psalm 90:8).

Then there are lip sins. Do you ever pray the prayer recorded in (Psalm 141:3)? I have nearly daily. “Set a watch, O Lord , before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” I must pray each morning that He place a guard on my lips, as He is still teaching me self-control. Did you ever notice the testimony of the psalmist in (Psalm 120:1-3)
“In my distress I cried unto the Lord , and He heard me. Deliver my soul, O Lord , from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?”

What a lot of harm “this little fox” of an unruly, undisciplined tongue can do, especially when it is a lying tongue, a critical tongue or a tale-bearing tongue!

And let us not forget the behavior sins. These are sins that we commit when we act in such a way that it is obvious to an onlooker that we have an unclean heart and a wrong spirit; when we are unkind, thoughtless or harsh in our treatment of others, or when we are wrong in our relationship with another person ….

Again, how these “little foxes” spoil the vines! I like how the NLT version states it: “Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming”

How they rob our lives of the fruit that the Holy Spirit is waiting and wanting to produce in and through us! What can we do with these “little foxes”? They must be rounded up and put to death: crucified (Galatians 5:24); they must be mortified (Romans 6:11).  If the little foxes are not put to death they will grow into big foxes! For an illustration of the way to kill the little foxes read (Judges 15:4-5), and then turn to (Romans 13:14).
But how can we do this? We cannot do it in our own strength thats for certain! Remember (John 15:5) — apart from Jesus we can do nothing!

The way to kill and destroy the little foxes is to rely on the Holy Ghost. We learn this from (Galatians 5:16) “Walk in the Spirit, and you will NOT gratify the lusts if your flesh” that is the desires of the sinful nature.Yield to the Holy Ghost, trust Him and rely upon Him to give you the victory. You have unspeakable power through Him (Acts 1:8) to do unimaginable things. Then there will appear in your life an abundance of fruit; “the fruit of the Spirit” and only through abiding in Jesus and the power of the indwelling Holy Ghost, will you not only kill those little foxes, but you will be adequately equipped and empowered to wage warand battle against all other wiles of the enemy …


Let us pray ~

Heavenly Father, how I thank You for Your Word and that by faith in the Lord Jesus, Your Holy Spirit has made me alive in Him and placed me into the family of God and the Body of Christ. Thank You that He has set His seal of ownership upon me and taken up residence within my heart, and given me the free gift of the Holy Ghost so as to empower me in my spiritual walk, as He gradually transforms me into the lovely likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. I pray that the Holy Ghost would lead and guide me in all things, and that I would learn to listen to the gentle promptings of His voice as I read Your Word or commune with You in prayer daily. Give me grace to recognize His still small voice as I search though the scriptures each day and the wisdom to discern Your spiritual nudges, when godly Christians are prompted to offer direction and give me advice. May I maintain an open heart and develop a teachable spirit, and I pray that I may walk in Your ways and live a life that is well pleasing to You, and that I may glorify You in all that I might do, say, or post, and I ask this in Jesus name, Amen ….


Let It Be A Secret


There is no secret to powerful prayers. The secret to prayer is prayer in secret ….

Jewish tradition in Jesus’ day had reduced prayer down to a shadow of its intended purpose. Instead of being an avenue for meaningful, spontaneous, sincere communication with God, prayer had largely become a religious form without a function. Repetitive and ritualistic. A means of impressing others with public demonstrations of fervor and superiority ….

And to hear Jesus tell it, they loved it. “They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others” (Matthew 6:5).

Notice the phrase “they love to stand.” The original language of the New Testament contained two different verbs that could be interpreted “to stand” and the word Jesus used in this verse is the kind of standing that is tall, firm, bold, and confident. These people loved standing there, knowing that others were watching and listening and being blown away by how well they prayed. Hear that? They loved it!

Now if that’s what we want, if that’s what we love, we can still do it that way. As it’s coming around our turn to pray, we can plan ahead how to impress people with our spiritual artistry and turns of phrase. When we’re praying at home, we can feed off the self-righteous piety of knowing someone may spot us in the den or kitchen, or through our open window, sitting there with our Bible open, obviously with superior commitment to our devotional time. We can love being known for how impressive we are at prayer, even if it indicates a level of prayer life we don’t actually have ….


However, we cannot pray this way and expect God to listen to it or answer. As Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward” (Matthew 6:5). If it’s all for show, it’s all for nothing. Nothing more. Nothing else …..

The secret to prayer is prayer in secret; where you “go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.” This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pray in groups, pray with your spouse, or ever do any kind of praying with others in public. It just simply means that if your public prayer exceeds your private prayer, you’re missing the point of what prayer is all about. You’re abusing its privileges and forsaking its possibilities. Praying with others is of little real value unless it’s overflowing from the praying that you do in secret; unless it’s coming from what happens in private places that only you and God know about. And if whatever you’re praying for or praying about, doesn’t move you to tears — then why would it move God to act?

The prayer closet allows no showing off. The prayer closet is proof of your sincerity. No one who’s trying to draw attention to themselves goes into their room, closes the door, and gets down on their knees in prayer. No one fakes it in secret. In secret, we can be raw, naked and exposed, and intensely deep and intimate before God. There is no self-righteousness to be gained by anyone’s approval, except that of our Father, which is immensely pleasing to Him to be approached in this manner.

That’s why praying by yourself is the foundation of all prayer. The true test for the validity of your spiritual life is what takes place where no other human sees. The genuineness and effectiveness of what you do in public will never rise any higher than the genuineness and effectiveness of what you do when no one’s watching. This is known as integrity; doing what is right when no one is watching ….

Just as important to note is that praying should not be a “just before meals” or in “times of trouble” occasion. If you pray only when you are in trouble — you’re in trouble. Daniel prayed 3 times a day (Daniel 6:10) and God delivered him from the lion’s den and certain death. It is written in Psalms, “Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws. Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (Psalm 119:164‭-165).
Did you catch that ? Seven times a day!! That would be truly as Paul taught us; that we are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and rejoice in everything; and I doubt any, even I, would stumble nearly as much if I prayed and praised more and ‘Facebooked’ or ‘Googled’ far less ….


In closing; remember, even Jesus sought out secret places and went away to solitary places to pray. You have this day to perform at your best and rise above. Think about this: what are your greatest obstacles to private, in-secret prayer? What hinders you from praying more?

I challenge you to the kind of praying that tells you it’s coming from a deep well of private prayer life. I would encourage you to purposely set aside some time today, if only for a few minutes, to get down into a secret place, and approach the Lord in humility and tears; pour out in secret all those things weighing you down. And watch as you change direction in your prayer life; you will begin to see miraculous changes take place in your public life.

“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your Word.” (Psalm 119:147)


Let us pray ~

Father God, I come to You today in this private place, wanting nothing more than just to be with You in Your presence; humbled that You would want to be with me. You are enough Lord. Bowing here in Your presence is greater by far than standing and being seen in the presence of others. Please forgive me, my Lord, for the pride and pretense that too often takes hold within me, disguising this truth from my mind and heart. Draw me back here again and again where I can love on You and learn from You in secret. Use me today Lord for Your glory, and show me and lead me to those whom I need to pray for. I pray in Jesus name, Amen ….


What Will He Find?


Good morning;

While spending time in the Holy Ghost this morning, my Lord spoke to me and impressed upon me concerning faith and my own sometimes wobbly attempts in such. So I want to share a word on that and the scriptures He brought to me for today ….

“And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58).

Poor Nazareth. The people there took offense at their hometown prophet, Jesus, and as a result, Jesus couldn’t do much in that town “because of their unbelief.” Their lack of faith robbed them of Jesus’ “many mighty works” ….. Wouldn’t that be an awful thing to have said about your home, about your family, about you even? That “Jesus couldn’t do much in or through you because you didn’t believe Him” …. Have you ever wondered, ‘Lord, why don’t You do more in our church?’… Could it be because of unbelief?
Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘Why do you cause good things to happen in my friends’ life, but not mine?’… Could it be because your friend believes God more?
You may be a candidate for James’s blunt wisdom: “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly” (James 4:2-3)

Faith is the key. God’s promises are activated by faith. Faith is not passive — it’s active. You cannot just stand there and say, “I’ll just wait over here. Maybe God will work; and maybe He won’t” ….


What are you doing about it? Are you like the sick patient who needs to get better — but refuses to go to the doctor? That’s foolish. You have to do your part. Or perhaps like the single who longs for a spouse — but never goes to the singles’ events at church? You can’t just sit in your basement and pray for someone to show up. Not a great plan. You have to do your part … Or maybe like the people who are filled with worry and want to have hope — but never read their Bible? They might carry it, respect it, and even defend it; but they’re not living in it. They’re not opening it like the Word of life and drinking from it like someone thirsty in a dry and barren desert ….

The next time you gather with other believers to cry out to God for rain, count how many people bring umbrellas for the trip home. Bringing an umbrella doesn’t force God to send rain, but it does indicate how seriously you are in expecting God to act! It is an act and expression of faith.


In (Luke 18) Jesus talks about the importance of persisting in prayer about our needs. He shares how an unrighteous judge finally gave a woman justice, not because He was a just judge, but because she was wearing Him out because of her persistence. This was the response of an unjust judge. Why was Jesus telling this parable? He was pointing out to His audience that if an unrighteous judge will give justice, what do you think God will do who does care and is just? Jesus went on to say, “Now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8).

What kind of faith was Jesus talking about? The passage is directed to God’s people, so we know this is not talking about saving faith. Jesus is talking to believers, but what an astounding statement! Jesus is clearly telling us that when He comes back for His people, He will not be able to find faith among them. How sad is that?

But what is this faith Jesus is talking about? The answer is simple, and can be answered in the form of a question: ‘when Jesus returns, will He find a church putting its trust in Jesus and His Word — or will He find a church that has compromised and is relying on the world system to meet its needs and fulfill its desires?’ And when I say “church” I am talking about His people, the body of believers ….

Why don’t Christians get more involved in evangelism? Many don’t get involved because of the fear of the rejection of people. The lack of faith Jesus is talking about in this passage is motivated by fear also, but a different kind of fear. This fear is not a fear of man, but rather a lack of trust that Jesus really cares about us individually and will take care of us and our needs if we will walk with Him and let Him have His way in our lives, so that we do have a future. The truly sad part is that most people calling themselves Christians do not even have faith in Jesus. They are more concerned with making sure they don’t lose what they have here on this earth than to let Jesus have His way His way in their lives and invest in the kingdom of God. To have faith in Jesus means to make a willful decision to believe that Jesus loves you and will provide you with what you need, though not necessarily always what you want. Jesus put it this way, He said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Why don’t the majority of Christians get involved in aggressively reaching out to the lost, hurting and scattered? Because truly they have no faith in God’s goodness, or their focus is not the kingdom of God and His righteousness, but storing up treasures on earth that will not carry on into heaven. Sadly, it’s become more of a “me generation” ….

And what is Jesus saying in this passage? First, treasures on earth will pass away. They are temporary and will not stay in eternity. But He says something more astounding: First, heaven is a real place. it is not a mystical place. It is more real than this earth. Not only is it real, but there are treasures there, but not just treasures, but treasures that will not pass away, that cannot be taken away by thieves because there are no thieves in heaven. But Jesus is also saying something very sobering. Heaven is forever. Our life on this earth is only temporary. This life will pass away. Your life in heaven will last for eternity …. Praise God!!

Jesus tells us in this passage that what we do now on this earth in this probationary life will determine what kind of life we will have in eternity. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33). But He did not mean only in this life, He meant it primarily for us in the life to come ….


Faith has to be active to be real. We can read in (2 Kings 5) about Naaman, the leprous general. God told him to go dip in the filthy Jordan River seven times. He was insulted. He hadn’t expected that healing would involve potentially humiliating circumstances. He would have paid richly for treatment, but he wasn’t eager to follow these instructions. At first he angrily refused, but eventually, once he humbled himself and followed God’s plan, he was healed. In faith, he did his part — and God did the rest ….

Remember the widow in debt from (2 Kings 4)? She collected containers from her neighbors to hold all the oil God gave her to pay back her creditors. In faith, she did what she could — and God did the rest ….

And great is the story of the woman in (Matthew 15) who had a sick child, and persisted in asking for what she needed, knowing it could only come from Jesus. Again persistence by faith was a major key in obtaining what she needed, and Jesus’ response? “Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
(Matthew 15:28)


A warrior heading into battle has to pick up his weapon. We must do what we can, our part, and primarily what we’re commanded to do as an expression of faith. Be persistent, put some action behind what you believe, trust God, and then watch God work. Only when we have done all that we know to do can we wait by faith for God to do what only He can do ….


In closing; Jesus knows that when He returns He will find religion, He knows He will find legalism; He knows He will find the neglect, hypocrisy and avoidance of His divine laws along with religiously justified violations of human dignity that have dogged humanity since the beginning of time. But will He find faith? Is your life characterized by unbelief or by bold, active faith?


Let’s pray ~

Father God, how sobering to think that my occasional unbelief could limit Your work in my life. I confess I am guilty my Lord and have fallen short. Please forgive me and grow my faith. I want to believe in You boldly. I want to start praying with more faith, standing firm in the assurance and belief that You have heard me and that You can and will act on my behalf. And as I do my part Lord, I will trust that You will do what only You can in my life. I will stop leaning to my own feeble understanding, and trust You alone and the mighty works that You want to do through me. Thank You for Your Word, Lord. And if there be any that do not know You Lord, I ask and pray that they find You. Use me if You may to reach the lost this week. In Jesus’ precious mighty name I pray, Amen ….


Let It Shine ~


“Therefore, since God in His mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the Word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this. If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:1‭-‬4)


Many of us struggle with witnessing because it doesn’t come natural to us. We are hesitant because we don’t want our family and friends to be offended. Sometimes we resist witnessing because we assume that people will hear the Gospel from another source. We also resist witnessing because we falsely judge people by their outer appearance and assume they wouldn’t want to hear truth from us ….

Whatever our reasoning for waiting instead of witnessing, we bear the responsibility of sharing the truth with those who will suffer throughout eternity for their sins …

We certainly don’t have the power to change people’s hearts and minds to accept Christ. Yet, we do have the ability to share what is different and unique about our lives because of Jesus Christ. And not only ability, or opportunity, but obligation. Jesus instructed us to be witnesses:
And then He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (Mark 16:15)


Even our witnessing isn’t up to us. It’s when we turn to Christ and ask Him for the strength to be a living sacrifice so that others may truly live that we act in obedience to His will ….

The Lord will give us wisdom in our workplaces and schools if we seek Him. Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah were able to give God glory in the midst of a pagan environment. God gave them the words to share, and He will also give the same to us when we seek Him ….

There is an incredible joy in our hearts when we witness those moving from the darkness of sin to the light of Christ. They are changed in ways we could never imagine possible because God saves to the utmost. Many times entire families and generations are impacted because one person decided to share their story of being set free with someone else. Let’s stop waiting on the right time and start witnessing as God opens up the doors for us by placing people in our path …..


In conclusion, Jesus told us we are His light and we ought to share that with others: “You are the light of the world; like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
(Matthew 5:14‭-‬16).


Therefore, let us go forth this week mindful of who we might share a word with. We have a glorious light within us; a brightness that may pierce another’s darkness. We have the power given us by the Holy Ghost to be effective witnesses (Acts 1:8); to set the world ablaze with the fire burning in us. If you’re not on fire: pray now! And if you are on fire, as I am with an indelible flame burning hot within, let it shine! Let my daily prayer be yours: my prayer today, as everyday:  I am your kindling my Lord ~ lay me across your alter; that your Holy Ghost fire may consume me and burn so brightly that all who see me may see YOU!!! And thereby YOU be glorified ….

Pray with me ~

Dear Lord, I blow it time after time in missed opportunities to unveil the Gospel to the lost around me. Fill me with a renewed desire and wisdom to share my faith with others.
How we praise and thank You, and worship You for Your greatest of all gifts – in sending the Lord Jesus to be our Saviour and Friend and for dying in our place on the cross, to pay the price for our sins so that we might live together with Him in heavenly places.
Thank You that when two or three are gathered together in Your name You are there in our midst. And thank You Father, for the many blessings that You shower over each one of us day by day. Give us grateful hearts and a willingness and desire to share with others the grace and mercy that You have showered on us day by day, without measure.  Help us Lord to demonstrate Your great love and grace to all those that cross our paths today and may we be ready and willing to witness of You and to give an answer for what we believe that many may also come to know You and to accept Jesus as their own personal Saviour and friend simply because they saw Him in us.
Help us to edify and uplift other members of Your body and in all things to be Your hands and feet, Your eyes and ears and Your heart of love in all we say and do today, in Jesus name I pray, Amen ….


Lesson Learned …


The checkout girl at the grocery store gave me a fistful of change. I was trying hurriedly to corral all the coins into my coin purse when the zipper jammed. “Murphy’s law” I muttered to myself. I could hear the muffled exasperation of the man behind me, and I didn’t want to hold up the line any further, so I maneuvered my half open purse and my two bags of groceries down to the end of the counter. There I continued my battle with that obstinate zipper ….

The woman behind me that man paid for her items and noticed my frustration. “Let me help you move to that empty spot over there” she said pointing to the empty counter next to me. She said, “it might be a little easier to manage without feeling so rushed. I’ll grab your bags for you.”

Well, she looked young enough to be my daughter, and must have thought me old or feeble minded, and of course, I was thinking to myself, ” I might be disabled and unsteady on my feet, but I’m still capable of taking care of myself and my groceries, thank you very much!”

I was about to refuse her help, as I do with most everyone who offers to help me with anything, but just then that darn zipper slipped off track again and caught my sweater in it. I thought to myself, “well shoot, what next Lord?”

The young woman had grabbed my bags and moved them over, and then without any warning she threw her arms around my neck and gave me a quick kiss on my cheek. I think she was as startled by that as I was because she suddenly stepped back looking flustered. “Oh gosh, I’ve left lipstick on your cheek” she said, as she quickly grabbed a tissue to wipe it off. Then all of a sudden her eyes filled with tears and she told me, “I lost my mom a week ago today.”

I was left speechless. “I’m so sorry,” I replied and it was my turn to give her a hug. We stood there together for a moment, no doubt to others gaze, tears in both of our eyes. Then she squeezed my hands and went on her way. The time elapsed?? Maybe three minutes, tops. And of course, right then my zipper became uncaught and slid easily right back on track …

Absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake, including stuck zippers. As I gathered my bags and went walking on home, I thought about what had just happened. My Lord had just touched a place in me that I hadn’t even realized needed a touch. My strained relationship with my own daughters has left me lonely and isolated, and often feeling forgotten. But this young woman’s impulsive gesture touched me as much, if not more, than hers I dare say.
And I believe the Lord orchestrated the whole thing. I was happy I could be her mama for a moment, and I received the sweetest kiss of a daughter. She might have wiped off the lipstick, however, she left an indelible imprint on my heart …..

The lesson learned? Invaluable. When someone wants to help you; let them. They might need it even more than you do ….

God bless you today 🌸

Pout or Praise?


Trials can lead us to a greater dependency on God and a deeper trust in His sovereignty if we let them. I’m reminded that in every situation I come to a crossroad and have a choice: I can pout or I can praise. I can turn away from God because I don’t understand something, or I can turn toward God in full assurance that His understanding is enough for the both of us … even if it hurts … even if anger lingers … even if doubt looms … even if sorrow fills my heart ….

Have you been to these crossroads?

God shows us a powerful example of praise-over-pout behavior in the book of Acts. During the Apostle Paul’s second missionary journey, he and his ministry buddy Silas encountered a collision of faith and trouble while in Philippi ….

After Paul cast out a demon that was terrorizing a young slave girl, he and Silas were seized by disgruntled Roman citizens and dragged to the marketplace before the rulers. They were then wrongfully accused of public disruption. And later stripped, beaten, and unlawfully jailed without a trial. After the flogging, Paul and Silas were taken to the inner cell of the prison, normally reserved for the most dangerous offenders, and their feet were placed in stocks ..

Can you just imagine that? And we think we have persecutions. Though they had every reason to sit and stew because of the injustice of their situation, Paul and Silas chose to trust in God’s plan and praise their Lord, Jesus Christ. Though they had open wounds and would likely have been in severe physical pain; though they sat shackled in a dank, dark smelly dungeon; Paul and Silas chose to glorify the name of God ….

“A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.” (Acts 16:22‭-‬25)

Then God shook the earth and the prison foundations and loosed the chains of the prisoners. In horror, knowing he would be held responsible for the escape of the prisoners, the jailer raised his sword to kill himself; but Paul stopped him. He and Silas hadn’t fled. They stood amidst their dark circumstances and spoke and sang with confidence in their God.
As a result, several people, including the jailer and his family, came to believe in Jesus Christ …

“The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.”
(Acts 16:29‭-‬34)


Though we won’t always rejoice in all of our circumstances, we are to praise God despite the situation; we are commanded to always rejoice in the Lord. We must learn to praise Him at ALL times and in EVERY, yes ALL circumstances ….

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 4:4‭-‬7)

“I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalms 34:1)

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
(James 1:2‭-‬4) NLT‬

When we praise the Lord through, and in spite of, what we face; our praise becomes our deliverance through the trial ….

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:3‭-‬5).

This world around us is broken and hardship is unavoidable. But, no matter what difficult times we encounter, God is worthy of our praise, at all times and in every circumstance …..

When we choose to praise instead of pout, we choose to trust God. When we choose to trust God, the wounded world around us lifts their eyebrows in wonder; just like the Roman jailer. Remember; God uses the foolish to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27), and people will be confused and call us fools when they see us praising God in trials. They lack understanding, yet by our praise we just might draw one in and save a soul …

Yes, absolutely, sometimes a sacrifice of praise is required, and most difficult. However, offer it anyway. Was Jesus’ sacrifice for us not worthy, or shall we make that all in vain just to pout and gain sympathy for our struggles?


In summary; praise that perseveres begins with a determined heart, mind and soul. There is so much power in praise and our praise and worship enables us to rise above any cirumstance, no matter how tragic or negative ….

By the power of the Holy Ghost we can come through any troubles with joy. Scripture tells us to “take every thought captive, casting down those vain imaginations” that are in disobedience to His Word
(2 Corinthians 10:5).
Are you standing at the faith/trouble crossroads today? Choose to trust God and praise Him in spite of your circumstances and He sustain you. Praise Him through your storm and He will carry you through ….

“I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. Great is the Lord ! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure His greatness. Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.”
(Psalms 145:1‭-‬4) NLT

Let us pray ~

Dear Lord, Thank You for being trustworthy and praiseworthy! I ask that You will nudge me to trust You each time I approach crossroads of faith and trouble. In spite of the burdens on my heart and challenges in my path right now, I praise Your name and celebrate that Your hope will never disappoint.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen ….